How about a bacon cheeseburger salad? I was determined to have a low-carb day and avoid bread if possible. A strange thing to say considering my P.S. is a bread man. I didn’t mean forever, I must have a bread fix regularly. My sister Linda and I joke that we would eat just about anything between two slices of bread. It’s a family thing. But this time I wanted a big ole salad.
So with a bag of lettuce, some ground beef and all of the usual cheeseburger fixing on hand, I made a salad that really was a success. I got to have all of the cheeseburger flavors without the extra carbs in bread or a bun. Maybe I should have called this ‘Bun-less Bacon Cheeseburgers’? Nah. It’s more fun to call it a salad. Raises more eyebrows!
I diced an onion finely and mixed it with the pound of ground beef I’d thawed. I thought it would be the best way to incorporate onion into the salad. I don’t care for onion on its own, but I do like it mixed in burgers or meatloaf, things like that.
I made little patties with the beef mixture, about 1″ in size. I suppose I could have made large patties and cut them into pieces but I wanted the eye appeal of miniature Barbie-sized burgers. Just because I’m weird like that.
I heated a large nonstick skillet and placed my patties into the pan. I seasoned them with salt and pepper and let them fry until they turned brown and had that lovely caramelized beef goodness. Flavor in the brown! (I’m going to name my next blog ‘Flavor in the Brown’. It makes me giggle!)
I turned the burgers and let them sear on the second side for a minute or two. I didn’t want to overcook my little gems.
In the meantime I’d place heaping handfuls of chopped iceberg lettuce into salad bowls. I added a handful of halved cherry tomatoes to each bowl. I also added some green onions. Not a typical cheeseburger item but hey, this is a salad too. Salads should have green onions. I also added slices of red onion for the visual effect and because my P.S. loves those red onions that are actually purple.
Bacon! Oops, I should have fried bacon first, I realized. I quickly heated another nonstick skillet and threw in 5 slices of bacon I’d diced into smaller pieces. They fried up fast, thankfully. I removed them from the pan with a slotted spoon and divided them between my two salads.
Pickles. Hm. I chose to use dill pickle relish. I decided I wanted the relish in a sauce, sort of like the famous “special sauce” at our favorite King of fast food burgers. Into a bowl I added some mayo, some ketchup and some dill pickle relish. I tasted and added a small spoon of horseradish. Mmm.. perfect! Easy dressing for my bacon cheeseburger salad! It was actually pretty close to my recipe for Thousand Island Dressing, so that could be used if you had it on hand.
The mini burgers were done and ready to be turned into cheeseburgers. I cut slices of American cheese into smaller pieces and placed them on the burgers that were still in the skillet. I used double slices so we’d have a serious helping of cheese on each little burger. I let them sit for a minute or two to melt then got impatient and put the pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Melted, finally! Aww, they were so cute!
I added a drizzle of the special sauce dressing and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar to each salad for good measure. We needed cheese in the salad greens as well. I added the burgers and the salads were ready to eat. My P.S. gave me his PHE (patented husband eyeroll) but tore into his salad like he hadn’t eaten in a week.
The salads were excellent! I liked that I’d added the onion to the burger, as well as the miniature slice of cheese. The salad was so flavorful I almost forgot I was missing the bread part. It was like the lettuce had ousted the bread and took over dominance. It was fun to eat a burger-y salad without it having Mexican or Taco flavors. It was an All-American bacon cheeseburger salad and I’d definitely make this again!
Bacon Cheeseburger Salad
5-6 slices of bacon; diced and fried until crispy
1# ground beef
1 small onion; finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce; chopped (amount for 2 large salads)
Diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes (again amount desired for 2 salads)
1/4 cup green onion; chopped
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish + juice to thin dressing
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon ground horseradish (if you use horseradish sauce, use 2 teaspoons)
American cheese slices; cut into small squares to place on burgers
Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
Fry bacon in a nonstick skillet until brown and crispy. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
Mix diced onion and ground beef. Form into little burger patties. Sear in preheated nonstick skillet until browned on one side. Turn and sear for another minute or two. Don’t overcook, they will be dry.
Place pieces of American cheese on mini burgers and let sit for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt. Slip the pan under the broiler for a few minutes if you’re in a hurry to eat!
Place lettuce in two large salad bowls. Layer tomatoes, sliced onions, green onions and bacon. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar.
Whisk together mayo, pickle relish, ketchup and horseradish. Drizzle over salads, top with mini burgers and eat!
Makes 2 salads